Urinary tract infection is a common condition that can affect not just humans but dogs too. A UTI is a serious infection, that not only affects the quality of life of the dog but also tends to get worse if not treated early. However, these urinary tract infections are not easy to spot and are often neglected. In this situation, you might be worried thinking, how do I spot a urinary tract infection in your dog?

Through our blog, we will try to provide you with in-depth knowledge regarding urinary tract infections in dogs. We will make you aware of the symptoms of UTI, so you can easily spot them if you're dog is suffering from an infection. 

What is a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a condition in which bacteria enter the urinary tract and affect the tract along with the kidney, bladder, ureters and urethra. This bacteria keeps on multiplying with time and increases the infection if not treated in a timely manner.

Dogs suffering from urinary tract infections go through inflammation, pain and in severe cases, even damage to the urinary tract. If this infection is left untreated it can cause kidney failure, too.

Generally, older female dogs are at more risk of developing UTIs more frequently. However, dogs of any breed or gender can suffer from the infection. 

The main cause of urinary tract infections are E.coli bacteria. More than 85% of urinary tract infections are caused by these bacteria. These bacteria are present in the faeces and found around the opening of the urinary tract, where there is debris collected.

Though urinary tract infections are serious in dogs, they can be prevented by providing your dog with water. You should also keep your dogs well-groomed and clean by bathing them with a portable dog shower.

How to Spot a Urinary Tract Infection in Your Dog?

It is very important to spot urinary tract infections in your dog to prevent them from the danger associated with it. Here are some symptoms you should notice in dogs to identify a UTI:

Frequent urination

For dogs suffering from urinary tract infection (UTI), one of the most common symptoms is frequent urination. So if your dog is urinating more than usual, then it is an indication that something is not right with him.

Usually, dogs have their fixed routine and as they grow they learn to inform if they have the urge to pee and can control it. For a dog suffering from a urinary tract infection, it becomes difficult to hold the urine for longer. This may make them urinate in the house itself.

So if you notice this unusual behavior of a dog, then it is advisable to consult a vet and identify the cause.

Blood in urine

Urinary tract infection can lead to blood in a dog’s urine. Dog’s urine is an indication of their health. So it is very important to keep a watch on the dog’s urine. 

Here’s what different colors of urine of a dog indicate:

  • Clear urine: Clear urine indicates that your dog is, over hydrated.
  • Pale yellow: This indicates that your dog is perfectly, hydrated. It also shows that your dog is perfectly fine.
  • Dark yellow: This indicates that your dog is, dehydrated. In this situation make sure you keep the dog hydrated, to prevent serious health issues.
  • Red: If your dog is peeing red then it is an indication of blood present in their urine. This also means that your dog is, either suffering from UTI or another serious health issue. 
  • Green: The green color of urine, indicates that your dog is having some kidney-related issues. For this, you need to consult a vet immediately.
  • Brown: The brown colour urine indicates, that your dog is having an internal bleeding issue. This can be fatal if the cause is not identified immediately. Brown color urine also indicates, the harmful toxin reaction in dogs.

So if your dog's urine color changes you can now identify the cause. The normal urine color of a dog’s urine is pale yellow. Apart from this, any other color indicates that there is something wrong with your dog and needs medical attention.

Strain to urinate

If your dog is facing any sort of discomfort while urinating or is straining too much then it can be due to urinary tract infection. So keep a close watch on your dog and if your dog whimpers while urinating then, consult a vet immediately.

Licking the genitals

Urinary tract infection (UTI) causes pain, inflammation and irritation in dogs. Due to this to get relief from this a dog might frequently lick his genitals. So if your dog is licking his genitals frequently then don’t neglect it and consult a vet immediately.

Discomfort while urinating

A dog suffering from a urinary tract infection might be suffering from discomfort while urinating. So if your dog is moving backwards while urinating, squatting, barking or growling then it requires attention. This urinary tract infection affects dog’s urination and makes it difficult for them to pee causing discomfort.

Loss of training

Dogs with proper training avoid urinating inside the house. Even if they are not trained with age and time they learn not to pee inside. Urinary tract infection affects dogs and makes it difficult for them to hold their pee for a longer period. Due to this dogs tend to pee inside the house.

Strong odor

Dogs with urinary tract infections when urinating leave behind a strong odor. Also, their urine is not normal in appearance and has either a cloudy or dark appearance.

Increased thirst

Frequent urination in dogs leads to loss of body fluid in them making them dehydrated. Due to severe dehydration, dogs tend to drink water increasing their thirst.

All these symptoms are displayed by dogs suffering from urinary tract infections.  A normal healthy dog may not display these signs so if you notice a change in a dog's habit be careful with it.

How are UTIs diagnosed and treated in dogs?

Here’s how urinary tract infection is diagnosed in dogs:

  • The vet will first get the information about the symptoms your dog has been showing. The vet will also inquire about the duration of how long your dog is showing the sign.
  • Then the vet will go ahead with a physical examination by checking the pulse rate and temperature.
  • After the general examination, the vet to confirm the urinary tract infection will suggest urine tests, blood tests, radiographs and ultrasounds. These tests will provide the vet with a clear picture of your dog’s condition and the severity of the infection.

Here’s how urinary tract infection is treated in dogs:

  • On diagnosing a urinary tract infection in a dog, your vet may prescribe the antibiotics. 
  • To provide your dog relief from pain and inflammation, anti-inflammatories will be suggested.
  • Along with the medications, the vet will also advise you to provide your dog with plenty of water. Drinking water will help to flush out the infection-causing bacteria from the dog’s body.
  • Take your dog to urinate frequently. Holding the pee for longer will lead to more growth of the bacteria increasing the infection.
  • A vet may also prescribe some probiotics to stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s urinary tract and maintain the pH balance.


We hope through our blog, “How to Spot a Urinary Tract Infection in Your Dog?” we made you well aware of the UTI and its symptoms. Urinary tract infection is a serious infection that affects the dog’s life quality and their organs too. This infection is not easy to identify as the symptoms are not easily recognizable.

As a paw parent it is your moral responsibility to look after your dog and on noticing slight changes in them consult a vet immediately. Doing this will help you ensure the good health and safety of your dog.